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19 Nov 2021

REVIEW: The Legend of Tianding on PC (Steam)

Review by Staff
The Legend of Tianding is a hand drawn 2D side-scrolling platform/action game, you play as Liao Tianding, a legendary Taiwanese Folk Hero. Set in the early 1900s in Colonial Japanese Taiwan, this is the type of game that instantly grabs your attention. 

Let's take a quick look at the official story.

"Based on real events, real people and real situations, The Legend of Tianding is an exploration of a place and time often overlooked and presented in the style of Traditional Chinese Manga.

Battle the colonial authorities in style with a tanto, waist sash, and fast paced Kung Fu in tightly tuned technical combat. Execute advanced aerial combos, steal weapons from your enemies, use your waist sash and grappling hook to fly around the battlefield, and strike fear into the hearts of your oppressors.
Take on incredible bosses like deadly courtesans, greedy businessmen, and even military leaders, each one guaranteed to challenge you with their dynamic abilities and brutal attacks."

You play in the Dadaocheng area of Taipei city, as mentioned earlier, everything is seemingly hand drawn, and although in general you play in a 2D manner, moving from cut scenes and menus, you do get a 3D view for a few moments, which is so well done. Everything is colourful and highly detailed.

Although a platform game, fighting is a big part of the game, and you will quickly learn new styles and attacks as you play, as well as defensive techniques. You will explore underground as well as over ground, and even on moving trains, and not forgetting some pretty tough boss battles.

The first boss fight you have is against Wang, now I have to come clean here, it took me a while to figure out how to beat him, as I clearly had not been paying attention, and didn't realise that when your health bar goes low, you can gain some health simply by pressing up on the d-pad. You will find save points throughout the game which also allows you to recover health, and store 3 health teas, or soups, not sure which, but you will take a sip of those in battle, and that will give you a health boost.

Playing the game which is very much drawn in a "Retro Traditional Chinese Manga" style, at times it is like playing a comic book.

Find talismans (talismen??) and upgrade your character, which in turn can also change your playstyle. 

The game does have a Robin Hood type element to it, steal from the rich, give to the poor, etc.

The Good
The graphics are outstanding, not enough can be said about that, just glorious to see. The gameplay is easy to pick up, the character easy to control, and you never feel overwhelmed as you learn new things. 

The Bad
The text on screen you have to read through is a lot, conversations go on a bit, and sometimes you just want to actually play the game as opposed to reading a comic.

This is a really good action platformer, looks and plays brilliantly. Some great characters to interact and fight with. A good learning curve, and detailed story to be a part of.

I score The Legend of Tianding on PC (Steam) a solid 8/10

Out now on Steam

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